On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leadership announced that a deal had been reached with the Trump Administration on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement after months of negotiations. Several categories were strengthened, including enforcement of labor standards, environmental protections, and rules for automobile manufacturing and pharmaceutical drugs.
The announcement signals that the legislative process for ratification of the deal is near in the House, with the Speaker indicating a possible vote before the Christmas break. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, publicly stated that the Senate will not consider the bill until 2020, after the impending impeachment trial of President Trump.
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce began advocating for a modernized trade agreement in 2017. In an official Chamber statement, President & CEO Richard Perez reiterated support for the tentative deal:
“A revised North American trade deal has been a priority of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce for the last two and a half years, so today’s news that the Democratic led U.S. House of Representatives has reached a tentative deal with the White House on a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada is a victory for San Antonio’s business community. We are encouraged by the bi-partisan leadership demonstrated today with elected officials in Washington putting American workers and businesses first. Our Bexar County delegation has been steadfast in their efforts to resolve key issues in this monumental agreement, and we applaud their hard work.
Today 63,000 jobs in San Antonio are directly tied to trade with Mexico and Canada, and 135,000 jobs indirectly tied to it, so a tri-lateral agreement is crucial to the continued growth and success of our city, our key industries, and our economy. We look forward to reviewing the details of the deal in the coming hours and assessing its impact on the San Antonio business community.”
The passage of the USMCA remains a top priority for the Chamber. We will continue our advocacy while leading a delegation of business and community leaders to Washington in February for our annual SA to DC trip. For more information on the USMCA or SA to DC, contact Belinda Garza Hartwig, VP of Economic Development, at 210-229-2199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.